Thinley Namgay  

The under (U)-20 men’s national football team will land in Bahrain today to play in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Asian Cup Qualifiers on September 10.

The U-20 team is participating in the AFC tournament after almost eight years. The team has been practising for a few months.

Unlike the U-17 football team that is in Sri Lanka for SAFF Championship, the U-20 team has players from different clubs including Thimphu City FC, Tensung FC and Ugyen Academy FC.

The U-20 team practised in different venues depending on the convenience of the players, unlike the U-17 team who trained at their football Academy at Changjiji.

Officials said the beauty of the U-20 team is that the players were also trained by their respective clubs.

In Bahrain, players will undergo intensive training and also expected to engage in a few friendly matches before the tournament begins.

The U-20 team will face Qatar, Bahrain, Nepal and Bangladesh in group B.

Bhutan will face Nepal on September 10, and Bangladesh on September 12  at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium.

The following matches are against Qatar and Bahrain on September 14 and 16, respectively at the same venue.

If the U-20 team goes through, the boys will represent the country at the 41st edition of the 2023 AFC U-20 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan from March 1 to 18 along with the top 15 teams from Asia.

The U-20 AFC tournament has teams from 44 countries who are divided into 10 groups and games will take place in 10 different host countries.

The tournament will end on September 18.